Paul Hefner

Paul HefnerRetiring from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), US Forest Service, Paul joined the EMSI cadre in 2017 as an Incident Command System (ICS) Trainer and Emergency Management Consultant for a wide variety of agencies and organizations.

Throughout his successful 38 year career with the USDA Forest Service in Fire & Aviation Management, Paul gained valuable knowledge and experience in incident management. Working within the Incident Command System when it was first introduced to the service, he was exposed to large, complex incident management operations on wildfires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, agricultural disease suppression, pollution response, and a number of planned events. Indicative of his knowledge and experience, Paul was the co-originator of the Forest Service’s Incident Response Pocket Guide and program leader for the development and yearly updates of the Standards for Fire and Aviation Operations for BLM and US Forest Service.

Demonstrating exceptional judgment and experience, Paul qualified and served as an Area Commander during hurricanes and other major incidents. As a National Incident Commander, Paul served on over 36 Type 1 and over 47 Type 2 incidents throughout the continental US and Alaska. His Incident Commander experiences included managing fires, hurricanes, the Columbia Shuttle recovery efforts with NASA and the EPA, World Cup Ski events, and search and rescue missions. He additionally served as Planning Section Chief throughout his career.

Since leaving the service, Paul has served as a lead instructor and course coordinator for ICS training presented to a myriad of federal, state, and local agencies, industry, and non-governmental organizations. In particular, Paul has taught ICS at the Coast Guard’s Training Center in Yorktown, VA, for the last five years, teaching ICS-320 Intermediate IMT, ICS-410 Incident Commander, ICS-420 Advanced IMT, and ICS-620 Area Command courses. In addition, he has instructed eight courses at FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute since retirement. As a mentor/coach or evaluator, Paul has been involved with numerous full-scale exercises, functional, and table top exercises, and completed his DHS Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation (HSEEP) qualification to ensure that exercises meet federally guidelines. He has also lent his expertise as an instructor/evaluator to various agencies throughout Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, and California.

Paul holds an Associate of Science in Biology from San Bernardino Valley College. He also holds ICS qualifications as an Area Commander, Type 1 Incident Commander, Type 1 Planning Section Chief, and Liaison Officer.